11 Best VST Plugins For Latin Music 2024

The influence of Latin music cannot be denied, whether in pop, EDM, or even hip-hop oriented genres.

Are you looking to make some Latin tinged beats? Maybe you have a Latin artist coming to your studio soon. Whatever the case, the time to get equipped with the right tools is now.

In this guide, we look at the best VST plugins for Latin music.

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RICO by ujam – Best Overall

RICO by ujam – Best Overall

Percussion is very much at the heart of Latin music, and ujam’s RICO effortlessly hooks you up with Latin pop grooves right out of the box.

RICO comes with 20 styles with hundreds of rhythms, including a classic and traditional rhythms, offbeat rhythms, hard-hitting beats, and more. You even have 10 kits you can choose from to keep things interesting.

Whether for pop, club, EDM, hip-hop, or even reggaeton, RICO offers enough variety to help you get your beats sizzling.

In total, you get 20 styles, 10 drum kits with 16 instruments each, 23 ready-made patterns, and 460 patterns. RICO also has MIDI drag and drop functionality as well as a resizable user interface.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

SP2016 Reverb by Eventide – Best Premium Option

SP2016 Reverb by Eventide – Best Premium Option

Reverb is a necessity in any genre, and if you’re going to get a reverb anyway, you may as well get one of the best. Eventide’s SP2016 Reverb is unmistakably one of the best.

This reverb is based on its hardware counterpart but make no mistake – it’s capable of both vintage and modern sounds.

SP2016 Reverb, in fact, features six reverb types you can audition and use on your tracks. That includes High-Density Plate, Room, and Stereo Room algorithms, all of which come in Vintage and Modern variations.

This powerhouse has a built-in Position control, which lets you place the reverb exactly where it needs to sit in the mix to produce your desired sound.

From transparent and beautiful to rich and saturated, this reverb puts plenty of possibilities right at your fingertips.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Clack by Soundiron – Best Budget Option

Clack by Soundiron – Best Budget Option

Wooden percussion is obviously a staple in Latin music, and Soundiron’s Clack efforts to deliver these tones with clarity and extensive variety.

In addition to an array of claves, Soundiron also procured bamboo poles, bamboo logs, woodblocks, clappers, a box drum, and a variety of other wooden implements to build out the sounds of Clack.

That makes this a great selection for adding percussive flavor to Latin music, hip-hop, experimental music, and even soundtrack music.

Sounds were recorded close and 90% dry. Instruments come with 10 round-robins per velocity layer with an average of six per note.

With this, the latest version of Clack, the developer remastered the samples, transferred them to a four-layer modular template, and turned them into atmospheres and ambient pads – perfect for sound design and composing. There are also 20 new custom FX presets.

Altogether, you get 2,896 stereo WAV files, 24 bit / 48 kHz uncompressed PCM WAV samples, 20 ambience patches, 20 sound-designed FX and ambient presets, multi-layer interface with parameters (LFO, filter, glide, arpeggiator), and full FX rack, including reverb with a variety of environments (rooms, halls, chambers, and FX environments).

This may be a great option for percussion in general, but it is worth noting that it isn’t all Latin flavored.

While Clack is our best budget selection, it does require the full version Kontakt 5.5 or above. So, if you don’t have Kontakt yet, it may not come out as the most affordable option.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Latin Percussion by AudioThing

Latin Percussion by AudioThing

AudioThing’s Latin Percussion is a recreation of the Sound Master Latin Percussion, a rare 80s analog drum machine.

The original came with six sounds including bass, low conga, high conga, bongo, claves, and maracas, and so does this virtual drum machine. All sounds can be panned, pitched, and mixed. If you want to add a bit of extra flare, you’ve got access to reverb and overdrive too.

In addition, Latin Percussion comes with 20 factory presets, nine factory patterns, sequencer with MIDI drag and drop, and a preset system (with a randomizer).

If you want authentic sounding Latin percussion, then you might want to look elsewhere, but drum machines are quite popular in modern music, so whether it’s adding some extra flavor or building beats from scratch, Latin Percussion should have a fair bit of utility, especially for the price.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Vintage Horns by Big Fish Audio

Vintage Horns by Big Fish Audio

Big Fish Audio’s Vintage Horns offers up an array of horn sounds from the 60s and 70s. This baby has a fair bit of utility overall, whether you’re going after a soul, funk, R&B, or even Latin vibe.

Vintage Horns comes with 11 instruments and 16 multis. Those looking to make Latin music, however, will probably find the Retro Latin Big Band Section multi most useful.

Naturally, the theme of the plugin is “retro,” so if you’re going for a more modern vibe, you might need to keep looking for another horns plugin.

Vintage Horns works with Kontakt Player.

While it is a great entry, it’s price point might be just a tad high? But we might be getting nitpicky there.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

ROYAL 2 by ujam

ROYAL 2 by ujam

You can’t have Latin music without bass. If you have an in-house bass player, then your needs may already be met. Or if you intend to use a sub bass synth to really make those frequencies explode, that’s another way to go.

But ujam’s ROYAL 2 is a very viable option. This virtual session bass pro can play just about anything you throw at it – pop, rock, indie, singer-songwriter, and more.

ROYAL 2 comes with 60 styles and 1,380 phrases, sound sculpting parameters, intelligent articulation modeling, along with some new features – MIDI drag and drop, 15 multi-effects, 20 new styles, and 30 new presets.

We hear only good things coming from the plugin, and we hear only good things coming from its user base as well.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Shake by Soundiron

Shake by Soundiron

Soundiron’s Shake follows in the footsteps of many of their creations, taking an idea and blowing it completely out of the water, so you have limitless options to choose from.

This baby comes with 95 percussive instruments from across the world, including Latin American, African, Indian, and other World instruments like shakers, rattles, tambourines, bells, and more. You’ll find instruments of every construction, including ping pong balls, raw hide, plastic, wood, coconuts, bamboo, metals, and more.

Percussionist David Oliver recorded an array of hits, grooves, rolls, fills, and flourishes. You can find exactly what you’re looking for in the loop browser. You can filter your search by instrument keywords, style, tempo, and even time signature.

Of course, you can tweak all the loops too, with ADSR, playback direction, slice order, volume, pitch, pan, filter cutoff, and resonance.

All in all, you get 26,504 samples in 24-bit / 48 kHz stereo lossless NWC format, 10 multi-sample NKI instrument banks, 11 loop NKI instruments, and 35 ambience patches.

Shake requires either the free Kontakt Player or the full version of Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Strum GS-2 by Applied Acoustic Systems

Strum GS-2 by Applied Acoustic Systems

Guitar is another well-loved instrument in Latin music. It’s one of those things that can be very hard to get right in virtual form, but Applied Acoustic Systems has done a praiseworthy job with Strum GS-2.

You can put Strum GS-2 to the task with acoustic and electric guitar sounds, chord voicing features, automatic chord recognition, picking and strumming articulations, MIDI riff library, and even amps and effects. Best of all, you can play it all on your keyboard.

GS-2 is indeed the evolved version of GS, with plenty of new features – additional acoustic and electric guitars, MIDI loop library, modeling options, keyboard mode, loop mode, strumming engine, EQ and compressor, limiter, new interface, bank and program manager, and various effects.

Presets include Acoustic, Acoustic Experimental, Acoustic MIDI Loop Packs, Electric DI, Electric Clean, Electric Crunch, Electric Distortion, and Electric MIDI Loop Packs.

It’s a decent sounding entry, not the most realistic though. It’s not a surprise, though, because guitar may well be one of the toughest to emulate. What makes GS-2 stand out is its variety of instrument types and articulations.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Velvet 2 by AIR Music Technology

Velvet 2 by AIR Music Technology

Electric piano is another essential in Latin music, and Velvet 2 is one of the best and highest rated virtual instruments of its kind.

This plugin brings together five of the most sought-after keyboards, including the Hohner Pianet-T, Fender Rhodes Suitcase, Fender Rhodes Mk I and Mk II Stage Pianos, and the Wurlitzer 200A.

In addition to 350 presets, Velvet 2 includes dynamic modelling and a proprietary engine, controllable parameters (timbre, dynamic response, velocity curve), pedal noise, preamp section with tube overdrive and compression, three-band EQ with a parametric mid band, as well as tremolo and autopan.

Also onboard are effects, like reverb, vintage distortion, wah / filter, amplifier, modulation, delay, as well as MIDI learn and an intuitive GUI.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Groovemate ONE by ujam

Groovemate ONE by ujam

ujam’s Groovemate ONE is a compact, low cost percussion generator. This is an excellent finisher for all those times you think your track is about to be done, but is missing a little something.

With Groovemate ONE you can take advantage of 30 styles (solo and combi), four sounds (claps, shaker, one-shot shaker, tambourine), nine mix and four ambient presets, as well as MIDI drag and drop.

This is also a great plugin for getting up and running fast. You can simply pick a preset, tweak the parameters (mix, reverb, and volume), and you’ll be off to the races!

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Atsia Percussion by SONiVOX

Atsia Percussion by SONiVOX

SONiVOX’ Atsia Percussion in an all-in-one percussion solution for a variety of styles and genres. The collection includes bass drums, bells, floor drums (hand and stick hit), frame drums, shakers and snaps, and talking drums.

Percussion is great for “filling holes” in any song, and in Latin music it’s a staple too. You may not find everything in this collection useful, but it does include maracas, and it is, after all, very low cost.

Most instruments feature up to four velocity layers.

I find the sounds are quite decent. It’s obviously not intended as a full-on percussion workstation with endless customization options, but it still seems more than decent for the price.

Speaking of parameters, from what we can tell, it includes transpose, volume, pan, mod wheel LFO depth, envelope (with amp, filter, and pitch) and attack, hold, decay, sustain, and release controls, LFO Mod with amp, filter, and pitch controls (each with rate and depth), as well as effects (EQ, chorus, delay, and reverb).

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A VST Plugin For Latin Music?

So, you need to level up your Latin music game. Naturally, you need the right tools for the job. You probably have a sense of what that is already, and even if you don’t, you can google Latin instruments and Latin music to become better acquainted with them.

But you’re still not sure which plugins to buy. You may have narrowed down your options, but maybe you’re looking for more direction.

Well, I have good news for you, because in this section, we’ll consider several key criteria to arriving at a buying decision you won’t regret. They are:

  • Instrument or effect
  • Sound quality
  • Features
  • Budget

Here’s what you need to know.

Instrument Or Effect

For Latin music, you’re going to need all the typical essentials like EQ, compressor, and reverb. That doesn’t really change. But in addition to that, you may require things like percussion, horns, electric piano, guitar, and any other Latin instruments you can get your hands on.

So, identify gaps in your VST arsenal and purchase the tools you need – instrument, effect, utility, or otherwise.

Sound Quality

“Buy the plugins you want without even listening to them” said no one in their right mind.

No, we encourage you to go as deep as you can. Watch the video demos and reviews. Listen to the sound clips. Find everything you possibly can for each of the plugins you’re considering to determine whether it’s going to work for you.

This isn’t to say organic and realistic is always better. But you do want to know for sure what you’re working with if you want to make the most of it.

Features

Each plugin will differ in feature set. What matters most is you’re buying the features you need. Sometimes it’s nice to have a few extras, but it isn’t necessary to buy more plugin than you need right now, unless you’re looking ahead at projects to come.

Generally, you will pay more for more features, and that’s not a bad thing. But it’s good to know, especially when you’re considering…

Budget

Always consider your budget before clicking that “buy” button. Spend within your limits, and do not go into debt for any purchase. It’s not worth it. Spend responsibly and you will have time to enjoy your music more.

Top VST Plugins For Latin Music, Final Thoughts

Are you feeling ready to work on your Latin music project yet? We sure hope so!

With knowledge and access to countless tools, you can’t go wrong. Now go on and make some great dance music.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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